WA’s mountains are molehills in comparison to the rest of the world. That said, the state is home to more than 30 top locations to scale
and abseil, from giant boulders and fascinating crystal caves in the south, to the epic heights of the gorges in the north. And with about 50 national parks scattered across the state, there are plenty more climbs that are yet to be discovered.
WHERE TO GO
Brides Cave, Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park | With a pitch of over 50m, this cave is a front-runner for thrilling heights. Spider down the collapsed mouth and explore the cave at the bottom. If you’re experienced at abseiling, you can grab a permit from the Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) office in Margaret River, or the visitor centre will help you out if you are looking to book a tour.
Bob’s Hollow | Located off Caves Road, this can only be accessed by 4WD from Bob’s Hollow Road or Conto Road. If you don’t have a car, make sure you have a good pair of walking shoes! Bob’s is famous for steep limestone walls, strange stalactite formations and white sandy beaches. It is mostly sport climbing at Bob’s, with more than 20 established routes, mostly climbs of 15-20m. Reach the top and be rewarded with breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounding bushland.
Walcliffe | A sport-climbing area with almost 20 established routes, Walcliffe is located near Prevelly Park and accessed off Caves Road via Surfers Point Road. The deceptively steep sweep of limestone stretches for 100m along the southern bank of the Margaret River. There is an interesting bouldering area on the right-hand end of the cliff, with safe landings and featuring numerous edges, pockets and slopers, plus a long traverse with many variants.
Wilyabrup | The largest and best-known climb in the region, this is superb granite stretching 500m along the ocean front. There are many climbs for various grades, and options for traditional climbing. One of the most famous climbs has a resident carpet python on it (we won’t tell you which one!). Access is off Wilyabrup Road, with a short but beautiful hike in. Follow the sound of crashing waves.
Kalbarri | See the Z-Bend Gorge from a different perspective as you abseil down the 460 million-year-old Tumblagooda sandstone walls. There’s the 20m Aviary wall, and if you’re ready to push your limits try the 35m Overhang. You don’t need to leave the kids at home; courageous youngsters (six years and over) often outshine the older adventurers. Kalbarri Abseil takes half-day tours to the gorges – for more details, check the website, www.abseilaustralia.com.au.
Karijini National Park | The spectacular sights in Karijini National Park are all the more breathtaking while you’re dangling by a waterfall. The Journey to the Centre of the Earth tour is the cream of the crop: abseil down the 40m Weano Falls, then take the plunge to Regan’s Pool and Hancock Gorge. West Oz Active runs the full-day tour during the dry season (www.westozactive.com.au).
Good for beginners
Mountain Quarry | Some of the best climbing in the metro area, this is ideal for first-time abseilers. Located off Coulston Road in the Greenmount National Park, it offers a range of climbs for beginners to advanced grades. Most of the routes have been bolted, and a number of anchors have been set.
Stathams Quarry | Located in the Gooseberry Hills National Park, this features a number of walls with good climbing on clean and solid rock. The quarry is packed with bolted routes and offers projects at every level. For lovers of slab climbing, Stathams also offers a number of opportunities to get over the ‘fear to smear’.
Churchman’s Brook | A natural playground in Wugong Regional Park, this offers sport, traditional and top-rope climbing, as well as abseiling. A number of top-rope anchors have been set, and the crag can be accessed via a short hike in. Be aware, however, that the uphill hike at the end of the day is a struggle at times.
Climbing is an inherently dangerous activity. Please give careful consideration and seek expert training before attempting to rock climb. Undertaking climbs without proper training, experience, skill, regard to safety, and equipment could result in serious injury or death. There are a range of valuable climbing sources throughout Western Australia, and also a various range of tours that are lead by professionals.